Steven Forrest’s first book on the elements, The Book of Fire: The Life Givers, celebrates that spirit of resilience within human beings and the “Fire Family” of signs, planets, and houses which signify this spirit. “But, I have no fire in my chart,” we complain, a handy excuse for not getting up off the couch and pursuing our dreams. Forrest reminds us, though, that we all have fire in our charts. Even without planets in fire signs, we all have the fire planets in our chart, the Sun, Mars, and Jupiter. We also have fire signs on house cusps – and we also have what Forrest considers the “fire houses” in our chart, the first (where the spark of life ignites), the fifth (where we tap into what lights us up and gives us joy), and the ninth (where we receive the call to adventure and light out for the territories). Paying attention to these prompts in our charts is guaranteed to inject our lives with energy, self-confidence, and purpose.
So what does the chart of Australian LBGTQ activist Rodney Croome have to do with Steven Forrest’s The Book of Fire? After reading Forrest’s description of Aries and each of the fire planets in this sign, I looked for someone whose chart held the Sun, Mars, and Jupiter all in Aries to see how such an Aries-drive life of fire would manifest. Thanks to the handy data base in Solar Fire, I found the chart of a gay man, Rodney Croome, who was born in 1964, pre-gay-rights movements, in a remote area of the world, Tasmania, where homosexuality was criminalized. He would have to fight for his very right to exist. That he would have to fight to establish his own identity is made even more apparent when we see that he is Aries rising, and his Aries planets are all in the fiery first house.
The Aries archetype, Forrest tells us, is here to learn courage. At its core, Aries understands this is a violent, scary Universe, which could extinguish us in a second, and we must choose to defend our existence. The challenge for those with the Sun in Aries is to never let fear control their decisions, and the surest way to extinguish one’s light is to give up the fight and conform. Those with Mars in Aries thrive under pressure. They accept risk and do what they need to do to protect themselves. Jupiter in Aries can modify this raw courage somewhat, making it essential for those with this placement that they achieve “meaningful victories.” Rather than battling the world at every turn, they bring intention and a plan to their struggles. In the beneficent energy of Jupiter, they have resilience and the ability to live again to fight another day.
Rodney Croome very intelligently began his campaign at a local level, activating to decriminalize homosexuality in Tasmania. As he broadened his base, he and his supporters eventually reached the High Court of Australia and had the anti-gay laws removed from Tasmanian law. In 2004, he advocated for same-sex marriage, a very unpopular issue at the time, and would spend the next 13 years battling for marriage equality until it became law in 2017. Croome brought his fire to his cause through his writings and speeches (note the mutual reception of Mercury in Taurus and Venus in Gemini), with his Aries superb leadership skills, he founded “Working it Out,” a Tasmanian LGBTQ support organization, and through the evolutionary impulse of his Aries planets, he courageously defended his right to exist – and so created a more accepting and safer world for all LGBTQ individuals.